National Eating Disorders Association

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New here-seeking advice

Hi All-
I am new here and really struggling. My 17 y/o daughter has not been medically diagnosed but we are just so distraught over what to do for her. She has been to therapists who have not really helped. She won't admit there is a problem to anyone and believes we are crazy for thinking there is! Her ED seems complex to me. She sometimes binges, sometimes just doesn't eat, drinks excessive amounts of water and exercises excessively. SO much of her day is spent around obsessing of caloric intake and exercise. The quarantine has not helped at all. She has never weighed less than she does now, and she has always been petite. We notice some physiological symptoms in addition to her behaviors. She is always cold, sometimes gets that blueness in her lips and hands that goes away, some fine hair noted on her skin, periods on and off. She had a grand mal seizure in January for the first and only time in her life. All neuro testing and cardiac testing came back normal but part of me wonders if an ED had anything to do with it. It was a terrifying experience and I am just so afraid of something happeneing to her. She is athletic which makes things more difficult especially with the exercise component. I've been looking into treatment programs and found one that has inpatient, PHP and IOP. I can't find any substantial reviews on it. She refuses help and sure as her parents, we can force her there but will it work if it is done under full protest? Like if she can't acknowledge there is an issue, will it help? I'm not even sure what I am necessarily asking but needed to share with someone who might understand. Thank you for listening....

Edited your post!

Hi there mjherman0712 - welcome to the forums. We’re glad you found NEDA, and hope both our website and these forums are helpful. Your post had to be edited to comply with our Community Guidelines - weight and numbers can be triggering to some users.  The following are just some of the signs of a serious problem that demands immediate medical attention:

  • accidentally or deliberately caused themselves a physical injury
  • become suicidal
  • confused thinking and is not making any sense
  • delusions (false beliefs) or hallucinations (experiencing things that aren’t there)
  • disoriented; doesn’t know what day it is, where they are or who they are
  • vomiting several times a day or has uncontrollable vomiting or diarrhea
  • experiencing dizziness or fainting spells
  • too weak to walk or collapses
  • painful muscle spasms
  • experience pain in the lower legs
  • complaining of chest pain or having trouble breathing
  • blood in their bowel movements, urine or vomit
  • a body mass index (BMI) of less than 16
  • an irregular heartbeat, and fast heartbeat, or very low heart beat (less than 50 beats per minute)
  • cold or clammy skin indicating a low body temperature or has a body temperature of less than 35 degrees Celsius/95 degrees Fahrenheit
  • experience dizziness, nausea, fever
  • wounds/cuts heal slowly
  • feel tingling in the hands or feet
  • blurred vision

If you experience anything above, we highly recommend seeking help from a medical professional as soon as possible. Seek medical help soon on an outpatient basis if you:

  • have significant heartburn and/or a burning sensation after eating
  • have other gastrointestinal concerns
  • have high blood pressure
  • struggle with significant joint or muscle pain
  • have difficulty sleeping (falling and/or remaining asleep)
  • struggle with fatigue, sudden weight gain, and/or hair loss
  • have frequent urination or unquenchable thirst
  • have gained and lost significant weight repeatedly
  • have gained significant weight in a short period of time
  • struggle with chronic diarrhea or constipation

 Please continue posting - recovery is possible for all who suffer from an eating disorder, and that very much includes your daughter. Take care!

Thank you! I actually

Thank you! I actually realized after I posted so thank you for editing as needed. ;) Thanks for the encouragement as well

I hear you....

Sorry to hear about your struggle with your daughter. Sounds a lot like my daughter.....she is now 21 and recently completed several months in a residential treatment program (praise the Lord it worked really well). Unfortunately, it was a long long road (3 years) getting to the point where my daughter "signed up" to go to residential treatment. She missed a year of college over it, and that finally motivated her to seek treatment. Now she is in a much better place and poised to return to school (pending Covid shutdowns, of course!).

The resistance to getting help that you are describing sounds very familiar. Has she been to see her MD, and if so what was their assessment? It wasn't until my daughter lost something she truly valued (she absolutely LOVED the college she attended, and we took all $$$ help away until she addressed the ED) that she made the personal choice to seek help. And once she decided it was time to get better, she worked hard to get better.

One thing I will tell you, one parent to another, is that this is not your fault. You can make help available, but you can't force someone to get better (at least that is my experience). Make sure to take care of yourself too!

Thank you so much for your

Thank you so much for your support. I am so glad to hear your daughter is doing well. It's like a yo-yo here. Up and down days. She still will not acknowledge there is an issue. I am actually taking her to her MD this week. I plan to speak to the doctor ahead of time because at our last well visit, things were not where they are now. She definitely needs some blood work I'm sure. Like you said she needs to want the help that is being offered.

I appreciate your kind words. This has been quite emotionally taxing on the whole family. We are all quite emotionally vulnerable right now. I really hope the doctor can offer some insight.
Thank you and wishing continued healing for your daughter.

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